Scott wrote: Which article are you referring to now?
Alan responds: The blogpost. THe only one I've written on this topic.Fine, so let us take a look at your blogpost in detail:
CrimsonCatholic and Perry Robinson participated a few months ago in a fairly technical but somewhat interesting discussion at David Waltz's blog.
The key feature of Chalcedonian theology is that Christ's nature is exactly the same as ours, so what happens to the human nature in Christ happens to everyone who is "in Christ Jesus" (to use St. Paul's term) by grace, including the sharing of the divine glory.
Alan continues: I'd like to ask a few questions, if we're going to take this consistently with the rest of our theology.
So Christ's nature if exactly the same as mine. My nature is human. Part of being human (as opposed to being divine) is to be limited to a particular physical location at any one time, is it not? My body cannot be in more than one place at any one time. That's obvious.
Now, Christ Himself, at the time of His Incarnation, took upon Himself a human nature and a physical body. At the time of His Resurrection, His body became glorified and immortal; He doesn't necessarily have blood anymore, but He retains flesh and physical tangibility, among other properties. He can perhaps walk through walls, or perhaps not;John 20 simply says, "when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be with you.'" Maybe He created a key and let Himself in; maybe He knocked and they let Him in; maybe He passed through the door via "teleportation"; the text does not tell us. Obviously He can perform miracles such as walking on water and perhaps passing through walls, disappearing right in front of two disciples at dinnertime on the road to Emmaus, etc, but we never see Christ in more than one place at any one time.
A key point missed here by Alan is the fact that though the Human Nature of Christ is exactly like ours, it is also inseparable from the Divine Nature. Alan seems to forget that the Divine Nature of Christ affected His Human Nature too, especially where He walked on water (see John 6:16-21). His Divine Nature clearly can and did affect His Human Nature! Not only that, in Matthew's account St. Peter also gets out of the boat and walks on water - Jesus is affecting St. Peter's human nature! The last I checked, in "nature" the surface tension of water cannot support the human body (See Matthew 14:22-33)
Interestingly enough, just previous to the walking on water incident in John 6, Jesus prefigures the Eucharist in the feeding of the 5000 from two fishes and 5 loaves of bread (see John 6:5-14). Then Jesus goes up into the mountains and the Apostles head out across the sea in their boat. While about half way across the sea, they encounter a storm and low and behold, Jesus is walking on the water! He climbs into the boat and not only does the storm end, they are immediately at their destination! Jesus is affecting physical elements all around Him - including His own body! The rest of John 6 is the Eucharistic treatise wherein Jesus commands, multiple times, that we are to eat His body and drink His blood or we have no life in us! The objective reader here can surely see that John 6 is all about the Eucharist from start to finish! Of course, those who close their eyes to the truth and do not want to see this in a Catholic light will come up with all sorts of rationalizations as to why John 6 is not about the Eucharist at all - but a plain reading of the text betrays their arguments.
Back to Alan's point - he is positing that because the Eucharist is multi-locational that fact denies the Human Nature of Christ - but does it really? I can see why he makes this argument, but then He also limits the Divine Nature of Christ the ability to multi-locate His body.
In later responses Alan asks "Was Jesus ever in multiple locations at one time as recorded by Scripture?" To which I have provided the scenario of the Centurion who sought Jesus' help for his dying servant. Jesus did not go with him, yet knew exactly who this servant was and healed him that very hour (see Luke 7:1-10).
Next Alan quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) - let us look at these passages:
CCC 1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."Now, I'm not real sure why Alan felt the need to post these - other than to show that Catholics DO believe in Transubstantiation - no one here is denying that! But let us progress...
1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.
1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. "The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession."
1379 The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
1412 The essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper: "This is my body which will be given up for you. . . . This is the cup of my blood. . . ."
1413 By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651).
On any given Sunday, or really most any day of the week, Mass is performed at thousands of churches across the globe. On any given Sunday morning, to be sure, the Eucharistic host is transubstantiated in multiple locations, at the same time. How well does this match with the conception of Christ's body's substance? It is supposed to be of human substance, yet here it displays a trait better assigned to divinity, that of omnipresence. Christ's human body, it turns out, is NOT "exactly the same as ours", as I don't think CrimsonCatholic has ever been at two or more places at once. I know I haven't, much as I'd like to be; I could get a lot more accomplished!
Humor and sarcasm aside, Alan still does not see that the Divine Nature of Christ can and did affect His Human Nature, and even that of St. Peter!
And the situation seems to be even worse than that. Take a look at this from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
Thus the red candle/light that one often sees perpetually lit on the altar of a Roman church - one or more transubstantiated hosts are still there. The real and substantial body of Jesus Christ is enclosed there. In many hundreds or thousands of churches across the world, simultaneously.
I'm not sure why Alan says this is "worse," as it's just the same thing he's already brought up.
So, taking the doctrine that CrimsonCatholic has expressed and applying it consistently across the board, we run into a serious snag in the doctrine of the Eucharist. It would seem that, if transubstantiation is true, then the RC position leads to a denial of the true human nature of Christ, because the substantial, real human body of Christ is simultaneously in thousands of different places, thus applying a divine trait to Christ's human nature. Not Chalcedonian at all, then; more like Monophysite.
The real problem here is not the Catholic Faith - it is Alan's LACK OF FAITH. We believe, through a great Mystery of Faith that Jesus is able and has accomplished that which He said and has enabled us to fulfill that which He has commanded of us - namely to eat His body and drink His blood. We cannot by science or nature fully explain this miracle - for that's exactly what it is! It's a miracle! This miracle happens at every valid Mass throughout the world. Catholics have faith that Jesus IS able and does do this, Alan lacks the faith necessary to accept this - may God have mercy on his soul and grant him this faith.
Now to deal with his last objections from the previous thread:
Scott wrote: I mean the Human Nature of Jesus would not have the authority to transubstantiate bread or wineI am aware of what Alan's position is - but what is apparent here is that he does not consider our Faith. He is only considering his physical understanding of things and NOT the metaphysical authority of God in the Person of Jesus Christ.
Alan responded: Now you're arguing the backwards position. I'm arguing that you invalidate the human for the sake of the divine, not the other way around.
Besides, what does authority have to do with anything?
Yes, Alan's argument is Monophysite - but the Catholic Faith is not. Again, may God grant him the faith necessary to accept His Truth.
Scott continues: based on a FALSE DEFINITION
Alan responds: Assertion noted. Now all you need is an argument.
Well, earlier I had asked Alan to provide his definition of Monophysite, he responded quoting a Catholic source:
They all declared with one voice that Christ is mia physis, but ek duo physeon, that His Divine Nature is combined with a complete Human Nature in one hypostasis, and hence the two have become together the One Nature of that one hypostasis, howbeit without mixture or confusion or diminution. Ælurus insists that after union the properties of each nature remain unchanged; but they spoke of "the divine and human things", divina et humana, not natures; each nature remains in its natural state with its own characteristics (en idioteti te kata physin) yet not as a unity but as a part, a quality (poiotes physike), nor as a physis. All the qualities of the two natures are combined into one hypostasis synthetos and form the one nature of that one hypostasis. (Source)To which I responded:
So Alan, how about continuing to the very next sentence in that source?
So far there is no heresy in intention, but only a wrong definition: that one hypostasis can have only one nature.
So the definition you are allegedly abiding by is a FALSE definition according to Catholic teaching! Just because YOU want to see heresy in Catholicism does not mean in reality it exists.
Heresy exists in what someone believes and/or professes to believe. Heresy does NOT exist in what someone else perceives another to believe. For example, if I were to agree with Alan's definition and say, "yes, Catholicism is Monophysite, but I'm remaining a Catholic," then I would be admitting to the heresy AND embracing it! However, it is NOT the Catholic Faith that Alan posits! He posits an incomplete definition of Monophysite and the applies it falsely to Catholics who do not consent to his flawed (and incomplete) definition. Alan's usage is flawed because he denies the fact that Catholicism teaches through the Hypostatic Union that the Two Natures of Christ remain. Regardless of Alan's rationalizations to attempt to limit OUR FAITH to only one nature (Monophysite). In short, Alan has build up a rather elaborate straw man argument - and then knocks down the false argument in triumphalist fashion.